Dry Milk Powder in Bread?
Im new here just by the way.
I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me to what the purpose of Dry Milk Powder is in baked goods. I see it added as a dry ingredient. Is it there to maintain and or add moisture to the products or simply to add some protein to the final product. Thank you for any information.
A bread formula that includes dry milk products can be adjusted to use regular milk. All you have to do is calculate what percentage of the liquid (water) called for in the formula is required to convert the powdered milk to liquid milk and replace that amount of the water with liquid milk. But liquid milk in bread is a two edged sword. It can cause problems with yeast development during fermentation (that's why fresh milk is scalded in may bread recipes - to kill any bacteria that cold damage the yeast) but when used carefully it makes for a lighter softer crumb. If you use dry milk you get around all of those potential complications and increase your chances for a successfully finished loaf.
According to Shirley O' Corriher, dry milk helps gluten development, crust color, flavor and moistness. Certain proteins in milk inhibit yeast development- these proteins are also present in dry milk, which is why you should also reconstitute and scald dry milk. An alternative is to buy a dry milk where the proteins are already de-natured (King Arthur Flour sells one).
From Bernard Clayton's "New Complete Book of Breads": "A loaf made with milk has a velvety grain, a browner crust, and a creamy-white crumb. The loaf is softer and stays that way longer than bread made without milk. Milk also complements the nutrients of many doughs. Most of the recipes in this book specify nonfat dry milk because it is easy and convenient to use. All one adds is water. When warming or heating this reconstituted milk, there is no danger of scorching - a common hazard with whole milk. And it is nonfat! But use whole milk if that is your choice."
Also: "If fresh buttermilk is not a staple in your refrigerator you might wish to keep a can of cultured buttermilk powder on hand. A cup of water and 4 tablespoons of the powder is equivalent to 1 cup of liquid buttermilk." I've never seen buttermilk powder but am thinking about trying it. King Arthur's Flour sells it in 1 lb bags for $9.
The only advantage I can see in using powdered milk is you don't have to keep a supply of liquid milk in the fridge. With the cost of powdered milk, that doesn't seem much of an advantage to me.
When I want bread with a more tender crumb, I add milk or buttermilk or yogurt to it. I use instant yeast or sourdough starter for my bread. When I use milk in bread, I just take it from the fridge and warm it to the desired temperature in the microwave before adding it to the bread. I don't scald it and I haven't noticed and detrimental effects from using warmed, un-scalded milk. I've tried scalding milk before using and I don't see any difference.
I made another loaf of bread today, adding 1 1/4 cups of 2% milk from the fridge (warmed to 100F in microwave) directly to the mixer. No scalding. Proofed fine, rose fine to make a great loaf of bread. I can't see the advantage of powdered milk for home use.
Powdered milk would be an advantage for a bakery so they would not have to keep gallons of fluid milk on hand.